Douches (And I don’t mean your ex-boyfriends):
Douching alone has been considered a big “no-no” by some doctors, especially if done too often (more than once a month). Douching is a vaginal infusion of water, and water has a pH of 7. You’ll recall from last week’s column that the vagina’s natural pH is 4.5; as such, you probably won’t be surprised to find that pumping water up there can elevate vaginal pH, which can in turn cause odor and irritation. However, 60 million women “Do the Dew-sche” just to feel fresh. If you must douche, make sure to balance your vaginal pH afterwards with RepHresh Gel.
Feminine Anti-Itch Creams:
While feminine itch creams attempt to soothe vaginal irritation, they often do not get to the “bottom” of our underlying symptoms. Women with a persistent vaginal itch are advised to seek medical attention to rule out the possibility of bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a yeast infection.
“One third of the time women have a yeast infection, One third of the time they have BV, and One third of the time they have an allergic reaction to something as simple as diet, toilet paper, soap, or lotion,” says Dr. Minkin. “If you have a yeast infection, Clotrimazole cream and Monistat can be useful. Topical steroids like hydrocortisone cream will relieve itching but can lead to skin thinning or atrophy if used too often.”
Ladies, PLEASE visit the doc to properly diagnose the cause of any vaginal itch. You don’t want to self-treat here.
Home Pregnancy Kits and Ovulation Kits:
There are many kits available on the market that help women diagnose pregnancy, stay informed about their body’s natural cycle, and figure out when they’re fixin’ to start.
But bear this in mind: “While a home-testing kit can be useful for gathering preliminary data, it is no substitute for a test performed by a doctor,” said Dr. Minkin. “Make sure to take all over-the-counter information with a grain of salt and to follow up positive results with a trip to an OB/GYN.”
I hope this guide to the land of lady products makes your next visit to the pharmacy a little less stressful. Whether you are searching for answers to itching, dryness, or odor, there’s no need to freak out about fem care if you have all the facts. If you have questions regarding particular products and their use, ask your pharmacist which one would be most suitable to your feminine needs.